33 Things That’ll Make You Seem Like An Expert Cook, Even If You Can Barely Scramble Eggs
Here's to fooling your taste buds with super handy gadgets and appliances, and packaged convenience food.
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1. An Instant Pot – it can handle 9 (!!!!) kitchen tasks in one precious lil' appliance body so dinner's ready as soon as you walk in the door. Reviewers call it their "secret weapon," which I guess isn't so secret anymore. Psst, this is great whether you eat meat or not!
2. And some slow-cooker liners to make cleanup a total cinch. Sometime a super easy cleanup can help motivate yourself to cook (or maybe that's just me).
3. A family size air fryer with an auto-shutoff so you don't overcook those delectable wings someone will assume you picked up from somewhere. Plus it'll help you finally cook the elusive salmon fillet.
4. Pre-made simmer sauces that'll really zhuzh up that plain chicken breast you have thawing in the sink. Seriously, just dump that sauce on it once it's cooked in the pan! (Psst, they're also Keto- and Paleo-friendly but IMO don't taste like it.)
5. Or The Omsom Bundle, which is really just fancy talk for flavorful Asian dish starters (aka, the sauces, aromatics, and seasonings) to keep stashed in your pantry for heavy lifting. Each comes with recipes you can easily follow along. Just add protein and veggies!
6. A rapid egg cooker to get your favorite breakfast or salad topping *just* how you like it, rather than tossing improperly cooked eggs (for the millionth time). Maybe you'll love it so much, you'll buy two(!) like my friend Marissa.
7. An AeroGarden hydroponic garden that'll help you be one of THOSE people who use fresh homegrown herbs in their recipes. Talk about leveling up your cooking game by lightyears.
8. A variety pack of A Dozen Cousins ready-to-eat seasoned beans, an extremely tasty recipe of a dinner staple. You only have to put the bag in the microwave for 60 seconds, which'll help you concentrate on the other parts of your meal. (I love the Trini Chickpea Curry with rice for a super satisfying weekday lunch.)
9. A sous vide cooker to mind your food and make a cheap cut of steak taste like something from a fancy restaurant. It's truly so much easier than you think.
10. A stuffed burger press for creating a no-mess meat hug around delicious toppings like you're living in the year 3020. Sometimes all ya' need is a lil' excitement to get cookin'.
11. A variety pack of delish fully-cooked Indian chana that'll quickly heat up in the microwave and satisfy any takeout cravings you may have. I've tried all of these and they are SO good.
12. And a spicy vindaloo simmer sauce from the same brand you can dump in a pan with chicken, veggies, whatever for a delicious result.
13. A couple of pot minders to prevent some spill over that always seems to ruin a cooking session, even if you fully recover after!
14. An excellent chef's knife can help you cut up those whole ingredients with finesse so that's one less thing you've gotta worry about. ICYMI, cutting with dull knives is extremely dangerous!
15. And some cut-resistant gloves because nothing will throw a wrench in dinner plans like spurting blood. These'll keep your digits safe and instill more confidence.
16. A produce dicer that'll make onion tears and food prep mess a thing of the past! This way you won't waste so much energy on *evenly* spiralizing or chopping, a fool's errand! (Jk, but this'll make it way easier.)
17. Or a manual food chopper for quick work of herbs, fruits, veggies, and ice in case your knife skills could use some practice or you just wanna make food prep a lil' more fun.
18. Silicone baking mats so you don't have to scrape those sheet pans clean or worry about your meal getting burnt. Folks use this for everything from cookies to pies to pizza to roasted veggies. They'll also help you seriously cut down on aluminum foil and parchment paper usage.
19. A Pig of the Month Club subscription – it comes with lots o' meaty options that are all but ready for ya'. You don't have to start from scratch when it comes to cooking! Here's to the hard work having been already done for some amazing ribs.
20. And while we're on the subject, some tangy Memphis-style BBQ sauce you'll want to pour over basically everything on your dinner plate.
21. A fish turner can help you FINALLY make a decent salmon filet at home that still looks presentable. It'll also be clutch for flipping pancakes and transferring hot gooey cookies from the baking sheet. (I use mine ALL the time.)
22. A rice cooker big enough to make 8 cups of rice but take up just a small amount of counter space. If you've ever messed up a pot of rice 1) I can relate 2) this story is for YOU.
23. A no-knead bread kit if you'd like to create some lovely, lovely carbs without the cumbersome part.
24. Or for even less effort, an automatic bread maker to help you whip up some breads, cakes, and jams that might just have friends texting you "Is that bread ready?"
25. A microwave pasta cooker that'll help you achieve al dente noods ready to top off with some jarred sauce for a super easy meal that doesn't require boiling water on the stove.
26. And some jarred truffle-infused pasta sauce for quite possibly the fanciest take on a lazy meal.
27. A Frywall that'll fit around your pan and contain popping oil or spillover while you work on the house special. Nothing ruins an edible masterpiece like hot grease landing on your hand.
28. A beet and fresno hot sauce can doctor up most anything you have. Cheers to this when you're feeling uncreative.
29. A Rapid Ramen Cooker that'll transform a brick of noods into the base for a delish meal in just three minutes in the microwave! 'Tis time to put that ramen you've been hoarding the pantry to tasty use.
30. A griddler to take meat and veggies from zero to delicious. Oh, and it's great for making a grilled cheese or panini!
31. Chicken that ships marinated in case you're still a bit confused about that flavor-boosting process.
32. MingsBings, aka delicious vegan patties you can eat quickly. But these aren't your average convenience food. They're made by a James Beard award-winning chef!
33. And a frozen side of Mexican-style street corn from a brand that makes a ton of VERY good vegetarian frozen foods because cooking is hard and having some help (even with a side!) seriously lightens the burden.
Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.